Thomas Paine (1737-1809) influential pamphlets include Common Sense in 1776, The Rights of Man in 1791, and The Age of Reason in 1793.
He advocated republicanism, deism, the abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of women.
Paine, born in Thetford, Norfolk, was a friend of Benjamin Franklin and went to America in 1774, where he published several republican pamphlets and fought for the colonists in the War of Independence.
In 1787 he returned to Britain. The Rights of Man is an answer to the conservative theorist Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.
In 1792, Paine was indicted for treason and escaped to France, to represent Calais in the National Convention. Narrowly escaping the guillotine, he regained his seat after the fall of Robespierre. Paine returned to the USA in 1802, and died in New York.
Why is Thomas Paine famous?
Thomas Paine was a English left-wing political writer, active in the American and French revolutions.